CNN has removed all episodes of Parts Unknown that feature Asia Argento from their streaming platform, CNN Go, Buzzfeed News reported Saturday.
Argento was the girlfriend of host Anthony Bourdain and appeared on two episodes and directed one. Bourdain was vocal about his love for her on the show.
The removal comes after allegations Argento had sex with an underage actor, Jimmy Bennett. Argento paid Bennett $380,000 though he did not sign a nondisclosure agreement, the New York Times reported August 20. In return, a photo of the pair in a bed together was copyrighted to Argento. The alleged photo surfaced on TMZ on August 22. Argento was a leading voice in starting the #MeToo movement against Harvey Weinstein.
CNN issued a statement about the decision to remove the episodes.
“In light of the recent news reports about Asia Argento, CNN will discontinue airing past episodes of Parts Unknown that included her, until further notice,” a CNN spokesperson told Buzzfeed.
The platform also pulled an episode filmed in Buenos Aires where Bourdain spoke to a therapist about his depression. Bourdain committed suicide June 8. There was no comment as to why the episode was pulled.
With the photo, a set of alleged text messages between Argento and Rain Dove surfaced August 22 in which Argento admitted to having sex with Bennett. In the texts, Argento claimed she was uncomfortable during the interaction.
Bennett alleged the encounter hurt his career and emotional wellbeing. Argento explained Bourdain helped pay Bennett in hopes to keep him out of their life, as he considered Bennett a danger to them.
Argento denied the allegations in a statement released August 21. “I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett,” the statement read. “I was linked to him during several years by friendship only, which ended when, subsequent to my exposure to the Weinstein case, Bennett—who was then undergoing severe economic problems and who had previously undertaken legal actions against his own family requesting millions in damages—unexpectantly made an exorbitant request of money from me. Bennett knew my boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, was a man of great perceived wealth and had his own reputation as a beloved public figure to protect.”
Actor Rose McGowen, another who spoke against Weinstein, revealed what she knew about the Bennett encounter at the time of Bourdain’s death in a Monday statement.
“It was an emotionally chaotic time and Rain Dove suggested we go to Berlin for a couple days to take the mourning out of Asia’s home and into a neutral space. So we did. While in Berlin Asia had mentioned that she was being extorted for a large sum of money every month by someone who was blackmailing them with a provocative image,” McGowan wrote. “No one in the room knew who the extortionist was. Now we know it to be a reference to this case.”